VIDEO: Now n Then Eco Essential Pen & Pencil Review

Ishuja Now N Then Eco Essential Pen and Pencil

Now n Then contacted me recently, wondering if I’d like to get my hands on their Eco Essential pen and pencil they successfully funded on Kickstarter. Of course I said yes.

Now n Then comes from Ishuja, a group of three guys with some pretty interesting product ideas. Based in Taiwan, the three of them put their heads together to make some beautiful pens. Their latest, the Retro Essential pen, well exceeded the funding goal last month, so go check out what they’ve been doing lately on Kickstarter here.

The Eco Essential pen was funded mid-last year, and the pencil a few months after that. It’s obvious that people love the cool design and modern functions of these pens, and they’ve consistently raised many times their goal figure for their projects. So, are they deserving of all this support? Let’s see.

Check out the video review below, and read on to see my detailed thoughts on this set.


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Monsieur Notebook A5 Leather Bound Notebook Review

Monsieur Notebooks A5 Leather Journal Review Photo

The pen is my Platinum President in blue with Parker Penman Mocha ink

Recently Monsieur Notebook got in touch with me to tell me about their company and what they do. After reading their story – just a couple of guys wanting to make awesome notebooks – I thought hey, this is the type of brand I can support. Monsieur Notebook is based in the UK and is run by Ed and Tom, two chaps wanting to get superb notebooks in the hands of creative people such as yourself, and heck they convinced me enough to give them a try!

I’ve been negative towards Moleskine notebooks for a very long time. They’re expensive, cheaply made, and low quality for the price you pay. Monsieur Notebook (I’ll call them MN from now on) are aiming smack bang at the Moleskine crowd with their line of leather (yes, REAL leather) notebooks in a variety of sizes and shades.

So they sent me a free sample to try out, but that got lost in the mail. They sent another out! That got lost too. Maybe my postman is stealing the notebooks for himself, but in any case they simply weren’t arriving. Rather than wait for ages for another to MAYBE arrive, I went ahead and bought one from Notemaker for a couple of reasons:

a. I really like MN’s brand philosophy and the way they do things.
b. I just finished university for another year and haven’t bought a notebook in a while!

So yeah, now I have one of their leather bound notebooks in my hands. This one is A5 size, which is my perfect compact notebook size, in red dyed leather (again, REAL FREAKIN’ LEATHER).

My next post will be a comparison between the MN and its closest competitors (in my opinion), the Moleskine and the Rhodia WebNotebook. I’ve been looking for another suitable alternative to Moleskines, how does MN stack up?

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Random Ink Find: Parker Penman Mocha

Hey everyone! I know it has been a bit since my last post, but it’s currently exam time and I have my head inside textbooks right now with little time to blog.

I’m taking a short break to show you something Ma’ just plonked on my desk this morning: An unused bottle of vintage, discontinued Parker Penman Mocha ink.

A quick search on Google shows a bunch of Fountain Pen Network threads filled with people dying to get just a drop of this ink. Apparently it’s a real beauty, and being discontinued people are running out and are unable to buy more.

So i guess you could say this is pretty special, and Mum just found it randomly in a box around the house (we have moved and are unpacking all the boxes gradually). It’s a pretty gorgeous ink, so here are some quick photos.

Parker Penman Mocha

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Classic Ink Bottles and A Bit of History

Old Ink Bottles Group Photo

Charlotte went to a market yesterday and came across a stash of old, empty ink bottles. She sent me a picture of what was there and, after spotting the word “Skrip” on the top of one in the photo she sent me, asked her to get it for me.

The other two are very old Winsor & Newton art ink bottles that, despite the ink being completely dried up, are in remarkable condition! These two were also found by Charlotte whilst we were searching for old pens in an antique store.

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My Favourite Pens (Video)

My collection of pens is getting larger all the time, but I do have a bunch that I like in particular. Here’s a list of those pens!

Click here to view the video on Youtube!

What are your favourites? Let me know in the comments!

(hit “read more” for hi-res photos of the pens)

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My Midori Traveller’s Notebook: The Perfect Organised Life

Travellers Notebook Full Photo

I’ve done it. I’ve finally got my Traveller’s Notebook right where I want it.

For those of you that don’t know about the Midori Traveller’s Notebook, think of it as a super DIY Filofax, except cheaper, nicer, and with a better philosophy (at least in my opinion).

I’ll get on to those points later, but first a reason for this post.

My lovely girlfriend, Charlotte, gave it to me a couple of years ago for my Birthday (I don’t remember exactly when). I said I had to have one, and she agreed. I never really loved it, although I always liked it, because it didn’t quite encapsulate my whole life until about two weeks ago. Previous to that I had tried putting all manner of different things inside it without really liking the result, and so it became just another random notebook in my (fairly vast) collection. However, I did nickname it “Travers” (pronounced “Travis”), which created a little bit more of a bond with it.

This post is me convincing you of why it’s very rewarding having something personal and unique to write your thoughts, ideas, and tasks in. If you organise yourself in a more effective, private, and personal way, you feel more connected with your work. Once your notebook is filled with your ideas, you feel like they’re truly “yours”, be it a Filofax, Moleskine, a Midori, or others.

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Filofax Garage Sale!


I’ve stocked up and hoarded so many bits and pieces for my Filofax (and Filofaxs I don’t have) that I figured it’s time to pass on the bargains!

To the international readers you may cringe at these Australian prices. But this is literally how much you pay to get them in store down here!


5 x Filofax Pocket A-Z Index dividers in cream.
Available! | Available! | Available! | Available! | Available!

RRP AUD$12.95 Garage Sale Price AUD$4.00

6 x Filofax Personal A-Z Index dividers in cream.
Available! | Available! | Available! | Available! | Available! | Available!

RRP AUD$19.95 Garage Sale Price AUD$5.00

4 x Filofax A5 A-Z Index dividers in cream.
Available! | Available! | Available! | Available!

RRP AUD$22.95 Garage Sale Price AUD$6.00

19 x Filofax A5 Black Ruler/Page Marker
Available! | Available! | Available! | Available! | Available! | Available! | Available! | Available! | Available! | Available! | Available! | Available! | Available! | Available! | Available! | Available! | Available! | Available! | Available!

RRP AUD$9.95 Garage Sale Price AUD$3.00


Shipping will vary depending on the number of items you buy. I’ll try to keep the cost down by combining postage for your total order. Postage costs will be roughly $1.50 within Australia and $2.50 Internationally for 3ish items (A5 dividers weigh more than a ruler does).

If you want a quote including postage just comment below! If you’d like to make an order send an email to charlotte(at) and I’ll send you a PayPal invoice (or work out an alternative payment method if that suits you).

Happy shopping, Charlotte.

*Photos coming tomorrow!*